“The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” according to a famous proverb. And there is indeed no lack of good intentions to eradicate child labor in cocoa farming. But despite decades of promises, success is still a long way off, as a new study by the NORC research institute at the University of Chicago shows. Around 1.6 million children in the two largest cocoa-growing countries, Ivory Coast and Ghana , work in cocoa farming, the study reports. Together the two nations produce around two-thirds of the world’s cocoa beans. On every second cocoa farm there, children as young as five have to pitch in instead of going to school because their parents are too poor to hire farm hands. Children are even used for more dangerous work, such as weeding or harvesting with machetes. Two decades of promises For some 20 years now, major chocolate manufactures like Mars and Nestle have promised to end the worst forms of child labor. They even set themselves clear goals and deadlines by signing the Harkin-Engel Protocol in 2001. When the targets were missed, they were repeatedly postponed and adjusted. “In 2005, the deadline was extended to 2008, and then in 2008 to… Read full this story
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